Guest post: My journey to RHCA

The following post was authored by Pete Durst, instructor and director of technology at ExitCertified, a Red Hat Training partner with locations throughout the United States and Canada. Delivering training since 1991, Pete was named Red Hat FY12 architect-level instructor of the year for North America, and recently became a Red Hat Certified Architect, the highest level of certification for Red Hat Enterprise Linux. The thoughts and opinions expressed here are Pete’s.

Many years ago, when I first became aware of the different Red Hat certifications, I thought nothing of what it meant to be an RHCT or RHCE. These appeared to be similar to other vendor’s certifications, like Sun’s SCSA and SCNA, and had similar value to me. Upon further investigation, it became apparent that while those certifications were gained through online testing methods that used multiple-choice questions and fill-in-the-blank essays, Red Hat used hands on, practical testing. It’s one thing to say that you know how to do something and it’s another to prove that you know how to use it, by actually setting up a server and making it perform as expected.

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Keep Calm and Innersource On

by Guy Martin (Red Hat)

“Open source is scary!”

“How can something ‘open’ be secure?”

“Won’t using open source in my products mean I have to give away my IP?”

These are all examples from real-world conversations with both external and internal stakeholders during my career as a developer and consultant.  There are many more such examples, which I previously built into a blog titled Top 10 Signs Your Enterprise Doesn’t ‘Get’ Open Source.  The good news is that with the emergence of Linux, Apache, JBoss and other important open source technologies, we don’t hear these kinds of things as often.  The bad news is, there are still quite a few industries and companies where these fears are the norm.

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Open source adoption in the public sector

by Satish Irrinki (Red Hat)

Open source adoption within public sector is no longer just theoretical – agencies across federal, state, and local governments have adopted open source software for a wide variety of computing tasks. In fact, new guidelines for software selection mandate that open source software be given equal consideration while making technology decisions. This is mostly because there are intrinsic characteristics of open source software that align with the long-term IT adoption trends within the public sector. Of course, open source’s obvious cost savings and economic value are significant drivers to adoption as well.

The 25 Point Implementation Plan to Reform Federal IT, a guideline released by the White House, clearly focuses on driving IT strategy forward with an emphasis on open source’s intrinsic characteristics — interoperability and portability. Adopting open source software perfectly meets these goals, while fostering innovation, reducing redundancy, and providing immense economic benefit to society.

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Guest Post / Martin Elliott: From computer club to computer career

Our partners are typically closer to students than we at Red Hat headquarters are. As such, we like to regularly hear from both of them for insight into training, into the IT industry and into IT professionals. One such training partner, 1Staff Training, is certainly among those with a finger squarely on the pulse of what’s happening in IT education. Based in Omaha, Nebraska, 1Staff Training has been delivering technical training since 1996, educating over 28,000 students and rating consistently as a leader in IT education by the International Data Corporation. 1Staff Training recently spoke with one of its Red Hat System Administration I (RH124) students to get his thoughts about the course and his career, and how both are interrelated.

NOTE: The opinions, statements and other information included in this post are those solely of the interview subject and may not be representative of Red Hat.

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A new view on migrations

by Larry Spangler (Red Hat)

The funny thing about people is that as much as we complain about how bad things are, there’s a natural resistance to actual change. More often than not, the changes we long for come with a good deal of anxiety and a great deal of process pain.

This week, we moved into our new space in the “Red Hat Tower” in downtown Raleigh. There was a lot of excitement leading up to this move – new offices, new space, new neighbors, new opportunities – a fresh start all around. But that was countered by an equal amount of uncertainty and anxiety – would we like the new space, would we be giving up amenities, would the new commutes be a hassle, how long would it take to be productive again?

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Guest Post: Sean Millichamp, Red Hat Certified Professional of the Year

by Sean Millichamp (Secure-24)

Being chosen as the worldwide Red Hat Certified Professional of the Year has been a bit surreal. It has been an incredible honor and fantastic experience, especially being at the Summit this year. One of the questions I have been asked over the past few weeks is, “Sean, how did you do it? How were YOU the one chosen as the RHCP of the year?” The easy answer is that I wrote an essay and they chose me. But I believe that the real answer at the heart of things is open source, the community and many years of experience.

My first introduction to Linux in 1993 with Yggdrasil LGX was a spectacular failure. I’d found Yggdrasil for $10 at a local computer expo and bought it because I thought it would be neat to learn something about Unix. It lasted maybe a week and then it was off my system and forgotten. I couldn’t get networking to work. I couldn’t get X-Windows to work. I barely knew how to list files in a directory. What went wrong? I could point to a lot of things but my main trouble was the lack of hardware support and my complete lack of Unix skills. In retrospect, the biggest failure was that I had no idea about the Linux community out there (and without an Internet connection, I had no way to access it).

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Checking in with Quint Van Deman, 2011 RHCP of the Year

It has been a little over a year since Quint Van Deman was named 2011’s worldwide Red Hat Certified Professional of the Year. Out of 600 submissions, Van Deman, an RHCA and director of open source consulting at Emergent, stood out with his experience helping clients move from last-generation, proprietary IT infrastructures to next-generation architecture that embraces the synergy of open source, open standards and cloud-based solutions. With the next winner set to be awarded on June 28 at Red Hat Summit in Boston, we wanted to catch up with Quint to hear the story that won the title, what he’s working on now and how his past year has been.

So, what story did you submit to win the award?

What I really wrote about was my journey to becoming an RHCA and how that really benefitted my professional endeavors. The journey to becoming an RHCA really exposes one to the breadth of solutions that are out there in the Red Hat stack, and how those solve organizational challenges. I was very clearly able to take some of those direct lessons and apply them out into my work. Also, how the RHCA really provides what I call the ‘instant badge of credibility’ when I walk in somewhere. A lot of time when you go into an organization as a consultant, there’s a lot of what I call ‘technical chest-bumping,’ where there will be someone in the room whose only objective of the meeting is to prove that they are smarter than you. Having that RHCA up there really defers a lot of that, especially with folks in the room that may have taken a Red Hat exam.

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Transforming Organizational DNA

by Guy Martin (Red Hat)

Transforming Organizational DNA – sounds like a lofty goal brought down from the ivory towers of an MBA or marketing program, doesn’t it?

While it is a lofty goal, the way companies utilize technology is fundamentally shifting, and savvy organizations realize this transformation is now well under way.  In a recent keynote at the Open Source Business Conference (OSBC), Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst gave a talk that highlights this trend. He touched on the explosion of computing power, plummeting costs, and the near ubiquity of technology that was simply not available even a few years ago.

In 2012, most IT executives have already seen aspects of what Jim was talking about. There’s no longer any question that Linux and open source provide real enterprise options — these are not only robust and secure, but are viable alternatives to proprietary solutions. Despite this recognition, a recent Sonatype survey found that over half the respondents didn’t have a corporate open source strategy/policy.  Even this far into the ‘Age of Open Source,’ policies to help corporations effectively and strategically consume open source are not the norm.

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